I’ve written about Imagineer System’s mocha product a time or two as it’s an incredibly powerful motion tracker and rotoscoping tool that I’ve been able to use in a number of editing jobs for somewhat practical applications and not necessarily “vfx” kind of work. Version 2 of mocha has shipped for this NAB.
This new version’s biggest feature is a cosmetic refresh of the application to make it much more attractive to look at and more user friendly. Check out this video on the Imagineer System site to see it in action. Gone is the pallet of buttons on the right side of the application window that you used to control things like the viewing of splines, tangents, grids and other overlay information in the main window, They were a confusing mess that often required three clicks just to get the desired results. They’ve been placed into a unified ribbon across the top of the main window and use a pulldown menu instead of the multiple clicks. It’s much more user friendly. You’ll see this much cleaner interface all over the application with buttons, symbols, tabs and pretty much everything you have to click around and use.
Two entirely new features are support for Apple Motion and a stabilize tab. With Motion support you can export your tracking data into a Motion project that you then just open right up in Motion. No odd copy and pasting of keyframes ala After Effects from mocha to the application. And speaking of After Effects, the new version that ships with CS5 will have a dedicated post mocha keyframes command in the menu.
Finally, image stabilization gets its own dedicated tab in mocha 2. This video shows that in action. While mocha was always able to show you a stabilization preview you couldn’t export that data as a fully stabilized shot. Now you can and the demos I saw looked very good. I inquired how mocha was able to produce the stable shots without some of the odd skewing and pulsing of the image I’ve seen with some other stabilizing tools and I was reminded that mocha uses its unique planer tracking even in the stabilization mode. This will be a great feature to test out.
It’s important to note that this is mocha version 2, the stand alone application that can export to many different applications including Shake, Smoke and Flame, Quantel Q systems, and After Effects just to name a few. This isn’t an update for mocha for Final Cut but that should be coming in the future. They are offering upgrade prices right now for $399 through April 30. mocha for Final Cut owners might want to take advantage of this.